2016 Colorado Voting Guide

2016 Colorado Voting Guide

There's a lot on the ballot this year besides who's running for president.

The recommendation below are mine alone and based on my involvement in the political process over a number of years. I've added some reasoning behind each recommendation and linked to further resources where appropriate.

Federal Offices

President: Donald J. Trump. Unless you really enjoyed the disaster of the last eight years and want at least four more of it, this is a no-brainer. Is Trump the perfect gentleman? No, but it is interesting that whie he's been in public eye for decades, he wasn't a racist, misogynistic, xenophobe until he started to run of office. Hmm. He's got the elites of both parties in a tizzy and the media to boot. If that's not enough to convince you, if Hillary wins, goodbye to the Supreme Court, your First and Second Amendment rights and any economic aspirations you might have.

U.S. Senate: Darryl Glenn. Darryl is a conservative and an AFA grad. I know him personally. If even the least bit unsure, consider this: Bennett is an intellectual lightweight who votes the Obama agenda 99% of the time. He's even ducked debates with Glenn.

U.S. House, 5th District: Doug Lamborn. Some say Lamborn isn't "conservative enough." Seriously? He rates at the top of the scale on most conservative indices.He's a member of the House Liberty Caucus.

State Offices

State Board of Education Dist 5: Steven Durham

Regent of the University of Colorado – At Large: Heidi Ganahl

State Representative – Dist 19: Paul Lundeen. Paul is my representative and a personal friend. If you're not in House District 19, there are good Republicans running in most districts. The Democrats gerrymandered their way to a 2-seat majority in 2014. We need to take the state House in 2016 to have a chance of stopping the Marxist-socialist agenda of Colorado Democrats and their billionaire funders.

District Attorney 4th Judicial District: Dan May is unopposed--and for good reason. He's awesome.

Judges

A word about judges in Colorado. They're appointed by the governor on the recommendations of a "bipartisan" panel. Democrats appoint judges who will make law, not just apply it. After their first two years the people get a chance to throw them out; after that it's every ten years. Don't miss an opportunity to ditch liberal justices!

If you're not sure, always vote to not retain (No).

The Blue Book is useless here. 99.9% of the recommendations are to retain. The best guide is by Dr. Charles Corry of the Equal Justice Foundation, who's clear-eyed analysis is second to none. In two cases below, I've modified his ratings based on specific rulings.

Colorado Supreme Court

Justice Hood: No! Absolutely do not retain this activist liberal. In 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of Jack Phillips in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case by a vote of 4-2 with one abstention. Justice William W. Hood voted to deny Mr. Phillips’ request for an appeal. The case is now on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Corry rates him "marginal.")

Colorado Court of Appeals

In 2015, Judge Michael H. Berger and two other judges of the Colorado Court of Appeals held that Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop must create same-sex wedding cakes. Mr. Phillips, a Christian, disagrees with same-sex marriage. Mr. Phillips appealed this decision to the Colorado Supreme Court. (Corry rates him "marginal.")

Other Court of Appeals Judges:

 

Karen M. Ashby

Retain

71%

22%

 

Do Not Retain

Michael H. Berger

Retain

77%

14%

 

Marginal

Steven L. Bernard

Retain

64%

32%

 

Do Not Retain

Stephanie E. Dunn

Retain

85%

6%

 

Marginal

David Furman

Retain

87%

0%

 

Retain

Robert D. Hawthorne

Retain

84%

5%

 

Marginal

Jerry N. Jones

Retain

74%

15%

 

Do Not Retain

Anthony J. Navarro

Retain

65%

25%

 

Do Not Retain

Gilbert M. Roman

Retain

82%

14%

 

Marginal

Diana Terry

Retain

71%

22%

 

Do Not Retain

 

For other district and county court judges, please refer to Dr. Corry's excellent analysis.

 

Ballot Issues

These may be the most important votes of the November ballot.

Amendment T: No. This amendment seeks to redefine labor that inmates of the Colorado penal system perform as “slavery” and to prohibit it. In other words, any labor performed by inmates would need to be paid labor and presumably voluntary. Cleverly worded by proponents, but when you vote No, you’re not voting for slavery.

Amendment U: Yes. Like the previous amendment, this one is technical and complicated. Those who lease state property, mostly ranchers, already pay a lease fee; the “possessory interest” tax is a tax on top of a fee and amounts to so little that many jurisdictions spend more to collect the tax than there is tax revenue. It doesn’t repeal the whole tax, which it probably ought to, but this is a step in the right direction.

Amendment 69: No. I can’t stress enough how dangerous and far-reaching this monster amendment is. The fact that it would create a full-blown single-payer socialized medicine system in Colorado is bad enough but this amendment also creates a completely new and unaccountable bureaucracy to administer it. Worse still: if Amendment 71 passes, it will be impossible to repeal it.

Amendment 70: No. Increasing the minimum wage up to $12 per hour is a proven job-killer. Guess why Chili’s, Panera, and McDonalds are moving toward more self-service kiosks? Retail salespeople will become even more scarce and get fewer hours. There’s no upside.

Amendment 71: No. Here’s the Establishment’s best shot yet at taking control of the initiative process away from the people while reserving for themselves the ability to repeal that which they don’t like—think TABOR here. If this passes, only wealthy liberals like Tom Steyer of California and Michael Bloomberg of New York will be able to run initiatives in Colorado. I've written extensively about it here.

Amendment 72: No. Another increase in tobacco taxes—and for what purpose? To squander more money on anti-tobacco causes. At least, that’s what the initiative proposes. It’s just another tax increase to be used however politicians want. Liberals want to tax tobacco out of existence but put marijuana in the state constitution. That makes no sense. Don’t give the politicians in Denver more money.

Proposition 106: No. Assisted suicide by whatever name it’s called is murder. This proposition would compel physicians to be complicit in suicide—and very likely pressure the elderly and disabled to commit suicide. This has been the effect in Europe and even in Oregon where this has been tried. Its major use has been to “treat” depression. This proposition is morally repugnant. Society can’t prevent suicide; it shouldn’t condone it either. I've written more here and here.

Propositions 107 and 108: No. Both propositions allow unaffiliated voters to help select the candidates of political parties. It is already incredibly easy to change party affiliation in Colorado: why should someone too lazy to declare affiliation be allowed to vote in what is a private organization’s nominating process? If you want an open presidential primary where Democrats can vote in a Republican primary (or the reverse), vote yes on 107; if you want to extend that to the entire nominating process, 108 is your ticket. The state already tried a presidential primary and it failed. The state is already too much involved in what should be private organizations.

 

Other resources:

Ballotpedia does an incredible job of gathering together the facts of the initiative, who's for and against, how much money they've raised and who's contributed.

NRA Colorado Voting Guide. If you're an NRA member, it's in the centerfold of your November 2106 issue. If not, go here. Remember, they're a single-issue advocacy group and that issue is the Second Amendment.

Dr. Charles Correy’s Judicial Voting Guide. If you didn't see the link above, here it is again.

Colorado Family Action advocates for life and family issues at the capitol. You will find legislators' ratings here.

Principles of Liberty advocates for liberty, just as the name says. You will find ratings here, too.

Clear the Bench Colorado has also rated state-level judges here and district and county-level judges here. On Hood and Berger, his analysis supports a Do Not Retain vote, more so in the case of Berger.